Education: Rs for the R-less

The Army had more than 300,000 illiterates: in G.I. slang, they were called "jugheads." But they did not stay jug-heads long. The Army boasted that it could teach illiterate draftees to read and write in eight weeks.

The Army's way was a mixture of up-to-date gadgets (films, cards with words illustrated, teaching whole words instead of letters) with methods familiar to the little red schoolhouse. The Army had its pupils available whenever it wanted them (usually for 24 hours a week); and G.I.s had a compelling reason for trying to learn: they wanted to be able to write home.

Last week, at experimental...

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